BI1MB2-Metabolic Biochemistry

Module Provider: School of Biological Sciences
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Level:4
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites: A Level Biology and GCSE Mathematics
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded: BI1BAB2 Metabolic and Practical Biochemistry
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Prof Philippa Darbre

Email: p.d.darbre@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
This module provides basic background information on metabolic pathways and enzyme kinetics. Lectures are the same as for the 20 credit BI1BAB2 Metabolic and Practical Biochemistry module but there is a reduced practical component.

Aims:
This module aims to provide the student with an overview of metabolic pathways and an understanding of the ways in which metabolic processes are regulated. The associated practical work aims to give hands-on experience of enzyme assays at the laboratory bench. Associated data handling aims to provide tuition in handling calculations essential for basic enzyme analysis.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to:
•Describe basic metabolic pathways, anabolic and catabolic
•Use enzyme kinetics to evaluate enzyme activities and their regulation
•Describe the principles of metabolic regulation
•Discuss the consequences of deranged metabolic control

Additional outcomes:
Students will gain practical experience of some simple biochemical enzyme assay techniques and develop an ability to work in the laboratory as a member of a small team.

Outline content:

Global context:
This module will provide a fundamental understanding of metabolic processes in cells. The key pathways will be presented, the function of enzymes will be addressed and the manner in which biochemical processes are controlled will be highlighted. In addition, practical methods for assay of enzymes will be carried out at the laboratory bench, and data handling tuition provided. The module is designed to provide essential background on biochemical metabolic pathways that will enable students to comprehend biochemistry-related modules encountered later in their course.

The Lecture Content covers:
•The structure and function of enzymes
•Basic enzyme kinetics
•Control of enzyme activity and hormonal control of metabolism
•Carbohydrate metabolism - glycolysis, glycogen breakdown, gluconeogenesis, pentose phosphate pathway
•Fatty acid breakdown and synthesis
•Lipoproteins and cholesterol metabolism
•Amino acid metabolism
•Integration of metabolism - how pathways interact, control of TCA cycle and oxidative phosphorylation, disturbed metabolism in starvation and diabetes
•Genetically-determined inborn errors of metabolism
•Environmental influences on metabolism

The Practical Content covers:
•Determination of Km and Vmax of an enzyme
•Tuition/guidance for calculations and writing reports

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
There will be two 50 minute lectures (divided by a short break) each week of the term (20 lectures in total). Students will each attend one 2-hour practical class, and one 2-hour seminar to provide tuition with calculations and report writing.

Students will spend 2 hours performing experiments in the laboratory. They will submit one practical report for assessment and will be expected to use their free time to engage in background reading.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Seminars 2
Practicals classes and workshops 2
Guided independent study 76
       
Total hours by term 100.00
       
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 80
Report 20

Other information on summative assessment:
In order to obtain a mark for practical work, it is necessary to both attend the class and to submit the written report. No mark will be given to the written report unless the attendance register has been signed at the relevant class. Late arrivals may not be allowed to join practicals for reasons of safety.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    One-and-a half-hour examination

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Aug-Sept re-examination

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 21 December 2016

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